Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as seasonal depression is a state of “short” depression that normally occurs during the winter but others can also experience it in the summertime. 1 in 3 people experience SAD and each year it gets harder for some people. For now, we will focus on winter seasonal depression.
Sunshine makes people happy and hopeful. It’s definitely much better to leave the house when the skies are clear and the sun is shinning than leaving the house at 7am when it’s still pitch black and cold, it can be really depressing even for me who chooses to be as optimistic as posssible but when the sky is already pitch black at 4PM all I want to do is be in bed and be by myself.
From feeling worthless, miserable, doubtful, and very pessimistic wintertime hits harder than anything for many individuals, I unfortunately can concur and it’s only the first week of November. My work has been affected, my appetite and I’ve had terrible concentration, I may as well be a goldfish.
Many people experience this too, other symptoms according to psychologytoday.com and mind.org.uk;
- Low Mood
- Loss of energy
- Suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty with memory
- Difficulty in concentration
- Hypersomnia (Day time sleepiness)
- Lack of Enjoyment in regular activities
- Lose in sexual activity and physical contact
”When exposed to less sunlight, your body produces more melatonin, the hormone which makes you feel sleepy. And just as your body begins craving mid-day naps, your brain begins producing lower levels of serotonin — the neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite, sleep, and sexual desire. Simply put, SAD can make you feel sad.”bustle.com
Seasonal depression is very real, if you know anyone suffering from this reach out to them, it can be really difficult and very lonely around the cold time of the year. If you are suffering from it, it may be helpful pick up a new hobby. I know it’s 4:37PM and all you want to do is lay in bed, why not finish that assignment/project, text your friends, make some evening plans even if it’s by yourself. Do whatever you can to cheer yourself up even if it’s for 20 minutes because you deserve nothing more than happiness what ever the weather.
All this is easier said than done but being patient with yourself can have a huge play on your mental wellbeing, the mistake we often make it try to be better in an instant and I would be lying to you if I said you’ll be all the way better by tomorrow, but there’s a few techniques on how to cope with seasonal depression.
- Keep busy
- Avoid prolonged isolation
- Eat, you need to take care of yourself in and out.
- Join the gym and maybe join classes (even if its for 20-30 mins)
- Make conversation, text your friends, parents or internet friends
- Journal yoour thoughts and feelings. You could buy a book or do it on your phone.
As mentioned before, it won’t be easy, it’s a journey and we will take our time. Self-care is very important. I know it’s a very cliché thing to say but you have to take care of yourself, do whatever it takes to take care of your wellbeing because the winter days will be long and we can’t let depression win now can we?